What’s the best way to preserve summer? In a jar, of course! When I asked for peach recipes, most people replied I should make jam. I’m not a big jam eater, but I figured I would make a small jar for myself and give the rest to my parents.
At the farm, they have a store where you can buy already-picked produce and related food items, such as jams and breads. One item they had to sample was a peach honey jam. I really enjoyed it, so I decided that’s the type of jam I wanted to make. I couldn’t find a recipe for peach honey jam, but I read you could sub out some sugar for the honey, as long as you don’t put too much in. Since I cut the recipe in half, 1/4 cup of honey was plenty. No more, no less.
I took it to work so I could make breakfast there (one perk of working in an office environment). I shared with a few coworkers, who seemed to really enjoy it.
I’m not perfect when it comes to canning, so I suggest you research a bit. I had one out of two seals pop on me. That just means although the jam was still edible, you needed to refrigerate it so bacteria doesn’t grow. What I can tell you is as long as the jars are not cracked, you can get them cheap at local flea markets. It’s the lids and bands that you need to keep
replacing, which can be found at your local store, including Wal Mart.
Since I ran out between making it and writing this post, I made another batch of jam last night. Instead of honey, I added some cardamom pods (perhaps one pod too many). I always forget I have ground CORIANDER, not cardamom, so at the last minute, I had to hurry up and break and grind some pods. It’s hard to taste as you cook jam because it’s so darn hot, but if you put a bit on a plate from the freezer and let it cool, you can taste that way. You can experiment with other spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, whatever you’re in the mood for. Be sure to tell me in the comments your favorite jam combination!
Be sure to check out my guide on how to peel peaches.
- 1 quart peaches (I guessed it to be around one pound), peeled, pitted, diced, and crushed
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- Before making the jam, bring a giant pot of water to a rolling boil. This will be used to sterilize your jars. Boil the jar, lid, and band for at least 10 minutes. Let dry before filling. Do not touch the rim, lid, band, etc so you don’t risk contaminating them. Once all of the jars are sterilized, dump the water. Rinse out the pan and refill.
- Also, put a small plate in the freezer. This will be used to test the thickness of the jam later.
- Combine peaches and water in a large saucepan. Cook gently 10 minutes. Add sugar and honey; slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly until thick, about 15 minutes. Be careful! When you stir, it may want to splash. If you get hit, just run your hand until cold water. Also, do not leave your pot unattended. Mine tended to boil up, so I had to keep stirring to stop it from boiling over. When in doubt, wear an oven mitt.
- Meanwhile, bring the giant pot of water back to a boil. You will use this to finish the sealing process.
- After 15 minutes, take the plate out from the freezer. Place a small spoonful on the plate and tilt. If it is too runny, cook another 5 minutes. I found that mine didn’t thicken up nicely; however, when I stored the jam in the fridge after opening, the jam did become a nice consistency. I wouldn’t cook it much longer than 20 minutes because the jam will start to burn on the bottom.
- When the jam is ready, grab a ladle and fill each jar up to the rim. Wipe off the opening with a dry, clean paper towel. Secure lid and rim. Submerge each jar into boiling water for 15 minutes to finish sealing. I’ve laid my jars on their side during boiling since standing them up doesn’t completely submerge them.
- Let dry and cool for 18-24 hours. The seal is set if you push down on the top and nothing pops back. If a seal is broken, store in the refrigerator.
Source: Adapted from Ball Blue Book, 1969 page 79